These days I see advertisements for Advent calendars. What I see are kits that have the first 24 days of December displayed with either candies or trinkets of some kind for each day. I think that, by and large, it is children who are attracted to these calendars that help build excitement and anticipation as Christmas Day draws nearer and nearer. Certainly, retailers will do all they can to build enthusiasm for the approach of the big day. Also, Advent calendars are more items to offer consumers.
If we get away from the buyers’ calendars and check out the liturgical calendar, we consider the days before the feast of the Nativity with a focus on the joyful anticipation of God’s greatest Gift to the world. Sure, Advent calendars offer the viewer a little gift every day; but we need to think about the many gifts God gives us every day.
Let’s make up a spiritual Advent calendar. Based on the readings for Masses, let’s concentrate on a gift God gives us each day. A certain word, psalm verse, or clause from a reading might be chosen. There are so many possibilities, but I will get us started. Ready?
December 1- The Lord shepherds me.
December 2 - His mercy is forever.
December 3 - The Lord is my Light in the darkness.
December 4 - The Lord has healed me many times.
December 5 - The Lord has sent me good teachers.
December 6 - The Lord offers forgiveness to me.
December 7 - The Lord searches for me if I am lost.
December 8 - God gives us Mary as our mother.
December 9 - The Lord offers me eternity with him in his heavenly kingdom.
December 10 - The Lord brings peace.
December 11 - The Lord sent John the Baptist with good news.
December 12 - The Holy Spirit is with me.
December 13 - God is compassionate and all-knowing.
December 14 - The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.
December 15 - The Lord is the one, true God, our Creator.
December 16 - God brings truth.
December 17 - God guides creation with power and love.
December 18 - God has a plan for me.
December 19 - I can leap for joy as John did in Elizabeth’s womb.
December 20 - God provides good examples, such as Mary.
December 21 - God is always with me.
December 22 - My soul can proclaim the greatness of God as I pray the “Magnificat.”
December 23 - I can learn obedience from the example of Zechariah.
December 24 - God sent His Son to save me.
You might want to write down 24 special gifts you have received from the Lord over the years and review them day by day. Personalize it! However you decide, there is so much to be joyful about as we prepare for December 25. We are gifted every day of the year because Jesus is truly our Savior!
Photo by David Olivier-Gascon on Unsplash
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.